UPDATED with new accusations from second actress: Following Lind’s accusation and a set of two apologies from Bush’s camp, another actress has come forward admitting that the former president touched her inappropriately.
Jordana Grolnick said in August 2016 while she was working on a production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame in Maine, Bush came backstage during intermission and grabbed her as they posed for a picture.
She claims, “He reached his right hand around to my behind, and as we smiled for the photo he asked the group, ‘Do you want to know who my favorite magician is?’ As I felt his hand dig into my flesh, he said, ‘David Cop-a-Feel!’”
EARLIER with second apology from George H.W. Bush: Since the accusations from Lind, former President George H.W. Bush has issued a second apology to the first.
According to The Washington Post spokesman, Jim McGrath, released a full statement on Wednesday:
At age 93, President Bush has been confined to a wheelchair for roughly five years, so his arm falls on the lower waist of people with whom he takes pictures. To try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke — and on occasion, he has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner. Some have seen it as innocent; others clearly view it as inappropriate. To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely.
EARLIER: Turn: Washington’s Spies actress Heather Lind has come forward with accusations that President George H.W. Bush sexually assaulted her during a photo opportunity with his wife Barbara Bush standing by his side. Bush has since apologized for the incident saying that it was an “attempt at humor” and that he didn’t mean to offend Lind.
Lind made the accusations through a lengthy Instagram post that has since been deleted. She recently saw a photo of the 93-year-old wheelchair bound Bush shaking hands with Barack Obama at the One America Appeal hurricane relief concert which prompted her to share her alleged experience saying, “…when I got the chance to meet George H. W. Bush four years ago to promote a historical television show I was working on, he sexually assaulted me while I was posing for a similar photo.”
The Instagram post continued saying that Bush touched her from behind and told her a dirty joke — all while being photographed. All the while Barbara Bush “rolled her eyes as if to say ‘Not again’.”
“It seems to me a President’s power is in his or her capacity to enact positive change, actually help people, and serve as a symbol of our democracy,” she continued. “He relinquished that power when he used it against me and, judging from the comments of those around him, countless other women before me. What comforts me is that I too can use my power, which isn’t so different from a President really.”
She closed the post saying, “My fellow cast-mates and producers helped me that day and continue to support me. I am grateful for the bravery of other women who have spoken up and written about their experiences. And I thank President Barack Obama for the gesture of respect he made toward George H. W. Bush for the sake of our country, but I do not respect him. #metoo.”
In a statement to the New York Daily News, Bush’s spokesperson said, “President Bush would never — under any circumstance — intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind”
Lind’s accusations come in the wake of the Weinstein scandal and the fallout of many film and TV executives due to sexual harassment allegations.
As mentioned in her now-deleted Instagram post, her colleagues have come forward to support her allegations. Turn co-star and Pirates of the Caribbean actor Kevin McNally tweeted, “My full support for @heatherglind for speaking out about the horrible event in Houston. All of which is true.” This was followed by numerous tweets about sexual harassment.
Author of Washington Spies, the book on which Turn is based also tweeted saying, “@heatherglind & ex-Pres. Bush, her account is 100% accurate. I was there. It was not a ‘joke’ gone awry.” The official Turn account also chimed in, tweeting, “Sexual assault is always about abusing power over their victims. The fact that this has been politicized is avoiding the real issue.”
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